Alabama's state government employees are getting 15 paid holidays this year compared to private industry workers who get an average of eight per year. That's according to a survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Governor Bob Riley gave employees an additional two days off this year and says he's aware that state employees get more holidays than the typical worker. He says Alabama employees deserve it and it's a way for the state to show them appreciation for their hard work over the years.
Alabama has about 38,500 state employees who can take off New Year's, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas as paid holidays. Many private-sector employees have those days off too, but state employees also get Confederate Memorial Day, the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Mardi Gras.
Alabama ranked third-highest out of 14 states in the number of official holidays, according to the state Personnel Department's annual report for 2006.